Home Crime & Courts Lawyer Mtetwa rubs salt into top prosecutor Tomana

Lawyer Mtetwa rubs salt into top prosecutor Tomana

by reporter263

PROMINENT human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa on Tuesday rubbed salt into the wounds of embattled Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana who was in the dock at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts facing abuse of office charges.

Tomana has in the past “tormented” Mtetwa and it seems there is no love lost between the two lawyers who are typical opponents,  having slugged it from different corners.

And it was indeed something to savour for Mtetwa who asked rather mockingly, “musungwa aripi?” (loosely translated “where is the accused person?”) as she looked around for Tomana who was seated in the packed court gallery.

A clean-shaved Tomana, clad in a grey suit and white shirt, just looked on as the feisty lawyer added more drama to the ridicule.
“You should be in the dock Mr Tomana, that is the appropriate place for accused persons,” said Mtetwa, firing at the Prosecutor-General.

Mtetwa was also present for the bail ruling which was handed down around 7pm the same day. She added: “You should be grateful that we contested against section 121 which gives the State powers to challenge bail otherwise you were possibly going down.”

On January 28, the High Court ruled against Tomana who sought to prosecute Mtetwa. Passing the verdict, Justice Garainesu Mawadze dismissed with costs Tomana’s lawsuit against the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) board chairperson.
Mtetwa was dragged to court in 2015 by Tomana, who sought to set aside the feisty human rights lawyer’s acquittal on charges of defeating or obstructing the course of justice, a charge which she was acquitted of in 2013.


ZLHR in a statement following the outcome said it “is vindicated that the Prosecutor-General’s pursuit of Mtetwa was simply motivated by malice”.

Prosecutors Timothy Makoni and Gwinyai Shumba said Tomana had allegedly ordered the illegal release of Solomon Makumbe and Silas Pfupa, who are facing treason charges, before police had finalised investigations into the matter.

Makumbe, a serving member of the Zimbabwe National Army, and Pfupa, a former soldier, are jointly charged in the treason case together with Owen Kuwacha — leader of the little-known Zimbabwe People’s Front party — and another serving soldier, Borman Ngwenya.

The four, who were arrested on January 22 this year, were initially accused of possessing weaponry for the purpose of committing sabotage at the First Family’s Gushungo Dairy farm in Mazowe, before the charge was elevated to treason.
The National Prosecuting Authority’s national director for public prosecutions, Florence Ziyambi, her deputy Nelson Mutsonziwa, chief law officer Michael Rutendo Mugabe and Chris Mutangadura directed at the time that the four be placed on remand as there was reasonable suspicion that they had committed the offence.

The accused were later remanded in custody to February 8, after being advised to apply for bail at the High Court. “On January 29, the accused person, as the Prosecutor-General, well knowing that police investigations were still in their infancy, and without having sight of a complete docket, clandestinely directed the withdrawal of charges before plea against two of the principal accused, Solomon Makumbe and Silas Pfupa, who were resultantly released from remand,” reads part of the court papers.
The offence is said to have been discovered by the investigating team when it went to Chikurubi Maximum Security Remand Prison for further investigations, upon which they realised that Makumbe and Pfupa had already been released.

“The accused person, using his authority as the Prosecutor-General ordered his subordinate Michael Mugabe to originate a document memorandum instructing (Jonathan) Murombedzi, the district public prosecutor, Harare, to cause the withdrawal before plea of the charges against the two accused persons supra,” the court heard.

It is further alleged that the investigating team then made follow-ups with Murombedzi, who indicated that he had acted under Tomana’s instructions.

“Investigations revealed that contrary to, and inconsistent with his duties, the accused had unlawfully endorsed the withdrawal of charges against Solomon Makumbe and Silas Pfupa, and this also amounts to defeating or obstructing the course of justice,” the court heard.—Tarisai Machakaire

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